Top 5 Crimes In South Florida
While the news headlines tend to focus on extreme, unusual, or simply stupid crimes, the true Top 5 Crimes in Florida might not be what you would expect. Murder rates are down and rapes have dropped according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), which compiles statistics on arrests by county and statewide. In fact, just one of the items on the list involves a violent crime.
Officials use this data for planning purposes and to determine where improvements can be made to apprehend more suspects for the most common offenses. You can be sure that law enforcement will be cracking down, so contact a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney right away if you were arrested for any of the following Top 5 Crimes in Florida:
- Drug Arrests
The overwhelming number of arrests in Florida is for drug charges, including possession, manufacturing or cultivation of a controlled substance, and drug trafficking. The severity of a drug crime varies according to the type and weight, though underlying circumstances can affect the charges. For instance, possession of a certain amount of controlled substances could indicate an intent to sell or manufacture.
There are two forms of this offense in Florida, aggravated and simple assault. Together, these crimes fall in second place based upon the number of arrests. However, they are very different:
- Simple assault, defined as a threat of harm that instills fear in a victim, is a Second Degree Misdemeanor. Your sentence could be up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
- Aggravated assault involves instilling fear by a deadly weapon or when there is intent to commit a felony. The charge is a Third Degree Felony punishable by five years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500.
This crime falls under Florida’s theft laws, so it is generally defined as the unauthorized taking or misappropriation of someone else’s property. The statute creates different offenses based upon the value of the stolen item, so petit theft charges apply to property valued at $750 or less. It is grand theft where the property is worth more than $750, and the charges go up as the value increases. You could even be arrested for a First Degree Felony under certain circumstances.
Drunk driving affects your driver’s license, but it is also a crime reported in the same way as other violations of law. There are around 32,000 DUI arrests every year in Florida.
This offense is defined as breaking into a structure, dwelling, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime once inside. It is often associated with theft, but the illegal conduct could be any offense.
Retain a Broward County Criminal Defense Lawyer Right Away
Whether you were arrested for one the Top 5 Crimes in Florida or any other criminal charges, your first priority should be reaching out to an experienced attorney as early as possible in the criminal process. For more information, please contact attorney Kevin J. Kulik in Fort Lauderdale. We can set up a consultation to learn more about your situation and discuss strategy.